I talk a lot about the need for women to ‘take control’ during childbirth. But I think I need to explain myself! What does that actually mean?
I know when I was first pregnant, I saw women on TV giving birth who did not seem to be in control. They seemed frightened, unconfident, they were being told what to do, their pushing was coached. This did not look right to me. Does it to you? It prompted my search to discover what was going on!
On the other hand, I remember seeing videos of women who were ‘hypnobirthing’ for the first time and being amazed. They were calm, they were focused, they were ‘in control’, they seemed to have a command over their own bodies I had never witnessed before. Just like any animal birthing their young. To me, their birth experiences seemed far more positive.
Given my background in Psychology and my Masters in Advanced Practice Interventions in Mental Health, I wanted to research and know everything I could do to make the experience as positive as possible.
I often say how the locus of control needs to be within ourselves. But what do I mean?
We need to be aware of our options and choices available in order to make informed decisions. We need to know there may be alternatives available. We need to know there may be merit in doing nothing; in not accepting every intervention offered to us. And by intervention, I include inductions and vaginal examinations.
Though in order to give birth effectively, we need to hand over ‘control’ to our primal mind and body; to allow to surrender to the force of what our bodies need to do to let go of our babies.
We can perceive the sensations as pressure, stretching, tightening. We do not need to perceive it as pain.
And yet if you do perceive it as pain, that’s OK too but you need to have ways of releasing that fear since
Fear causes tension and that causes pain.
When we learn to relax, we can manage the strain.
So breaking it down; here are the 3 ways of maintaining control during childbirth;
- Learn everything you can about how birth works so you can set up your environment and support optimally
- Learn to deeply relax and practice, practice, practice
- Reduce inhibition so you can let go, release and surrender to your primal birthing power.
You got this?
If you’d like any guidance or help preparing for your birth or you’d like me to doula for you, feel free to contact me. Available in Manchester, Cheshire and via Skype. With love x